A man scared by a hedgehog in his garden and another left enraged by a vending machine feature in recordings of irresponsible 999 calls released by police.
Greater Manchester Police have issued the recordings in an effort to prevent inappropriate calls to the emergency number over the busy Christmas period.
The caller frightened by the hedgehog can be heard being reassured by the call handler that the spiny mammals are good for gardens because they kill slugs.
“Yeah, but we don’t want our slugs to get killed, we’re a bit scared,” the caller responds.
In a separate recording, a caller complains that a hospital is refusing to refund money he has put into a vending machine.
“They’ve not given it me back at the hospital so I want you to come and sort it out,” he says.
He is then heard swearing at the call handler after being told to clear the line for genuine emergencies.
Two other recordings released by police involve a man unhappy because a sports shop will not give him a refund for his trainers, and another furious over the late delivery of his pizza.
Diane Grandidge, GMP’s business lead for call-handling, said the 999 number should be used only if there is an immediate threat to life or property or if a crime is in progress.
“The Christmas and New Year period is the busiest time of year for our staff and every year we appeal to the public to be responsible in their use of the 999 emergency line,” she said.
“A large percentage of calls that are received on 999 are either non-emergency or simply calls that should not be made to the police.”